The Difference Between GPS And Smartphone Location Services

Smartphone LBS vs GPSMany people who are driving around in cars may be wondering about their ability to get the best directions. Even when they have their cell phones the bloody things often fall out of service and you are left with nothing. So many people have opted in for a GPS of some kind. Still, many people wonder, how is an automobile GPS different from smartphone location services? What sets them apart? Is there one I should be listening to more than another?

What are they: Before we decide how they are different we first need to understand what they are. A GPS for all intents and purposes is an acronym for “Global Positioning System.” A GPS though is a navigation system which uses satellite signals to determine exactly where on the earths service, the one putting in the question is. So a GPS tells you where you are.A smartphone location service or location based services (LBS) are used to determine where you are geographically and what is in your immediate surroundings. You tell your LBS what you want to have; shopping, dining, entertainment; and your LBS will let you know. LBS’s are also used to tell you where essentials like gasoline, food, water, medical care, and whatever else you could need are.How they’re different: Basically the LBS will tell you where to go to get what you want; tell you what is “around” you and the GPS will tell you where you are. So they are different but in a way they are not really exclusive. After all, if your LBS didn’t have GPS software in it, your device would not even really know where you were (unless you input this information). But asking about GPS vs. LBS and which is better is kind of missing the point.

The use of LBS has become very popular among the younger set. Specifically with this social media and everyone wanting all their friends to know where they are and what they are doing all the time. LBS is a great tool to have when you are in an unfamiliar place or when you’re in a familiar place and you’re looking for something which is in itself unfamiliar. You have to know where to find the things you’re looking for; LBS helps you get to that understanding.

Still an LBS without a GPS is a like finding a needle in a haystack; there is the chance that people will come across what they are looking for but that’s slim If they are in a place where they don’t know their way around and they need guidance, it would be tough to get there without your coordinates. Of course using a GPS is more suitable for when you are out on the open road and you just need to know how long until you get to the next spot on your map.

Smartphone Safety: Smartphones also have pretty adept data security features if you turn them on as you should. With a simple pin or swipe ID feature you can lock your phones to thieving eyes. It’s quite easy to load your phone with apps and passwords for all your sensitive information but you do so at your own peril if your smartphone doesn’t have safety features in place.

If you are visiting a city or town and you need to know where to go to get things, having your smartphones LBS make a lot of sense.


Nick writes for Mr Spanners Automotive located in Sumner, Queensland. Mr Spanners do all regular log book servicing, safety certificates, vehicle inspections and more.

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February 2018
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